Setting the record straight on the ‘consequences’ of the Human Rights Ordinance and the LGBT community

As a retired reporter, columnist and newspaper editor, I was alarmed when The Lake Orion Review not only printed Gregory Weddle’s blatant untruths in his letter to the editor “Consider the consequences of Human Rights Ordinance” but then also directed readers to the hyperbolic letter in a page 3 tease on the village council considering said ordinance.
A newspaper, as we all know, has a responsibility to its readers to ensure that its content is truthful and accurate and The Review sorely let down its readers by printing Weedle’s wildly inaccurate letter the week before the village council was to consider the ordinance, giving other readers no chance to correct his glaring generalities and gross depiction of gay people before the council vote.
So please allow me to point out just some of the inaccuracies in Weddle’s letter, not the least of which is that not once does he support his ridiculous claims (unless, of course, you count his reference to “old issues of The Canton Observer).
Weddle claims that “every serious study concludes that this is a chosen behavior,” so I am assuming he does not consider neuroscientist Simon LeVay a serous researcher. LeVay, who served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School and the Salk Institute of Biological Studies, is the author of the groundbreaking 1991 study that found a region in the hypothalamus related to sexuality that is smaller in gay men and women than it is in straight men.
Or perhaps he doesn’t consider UCLA a “serious” university. An investigation there in 1992 found another region of the brain associated with sexuality that is 34 percent larger in gay men than in straight men.
Indeed, LiveScience concluded that “years of research suggests that people can’t change their sexual orientation because they want to, and that trying can cause mental anguish.”
That’s why Jeffrey Kluger, editor at large for Time magazine, stated, “There’s been a steady accumulation of evidence that sexuality, like eye color, nose size, blood type and more, is locked in long before birth.”
Weddle’s assertion of a “Gay Mafia” and promiscuity run amok in gay circles is, at best, laughable. I’m a 63-year-old gay man who has yet to run across a gay mafia member or the rampant promiscuity Weddle references. Indeed, gay people I know work, play and contribute to society just like the majority of straight people. Imagine that!
Weddle, in fact, seems way too preoccupied with gay sex. After all, I’m assuming he’s gone on every gay website or he wouldn’t be able to make the assertion that “Now it (places to go for a gay hookup) is on all gay websites.” Gee, I’m gay and have been on many gay websites and never ran across anything like he described. Maybe he knows more about where to look?
All kidding aside, he obviously wants us all to go running and screaming from the fear he tries to instill of this gay caricature created from his own vivid imagination and not at all based in fact.
The fact is gay people are only asking for the same rights everyone else has enjoyed for decades. No more. No less. Seems fair to me.
Jim Larkin
Lake Orion resident

3 Responses to "Setting the record straight on the ‘consequences’ of the Human Rights Ordinance and the LGBT community"

  1. Kathleen Witte   October 7, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    How does someone so well acquainted with journalism and its values become “alarmed” that they would publish a individual’s opinion? Publishing opinions is as old as the news business itself.

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  2. Jim Larkin   October 7, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Yes that’s true, Kathleen, but a newspaper has a responsibility to make sure those letters contain truths and not outright fabrications, as Weedle did. A newspaper also has the responsibility of being fair and it wasn’t fair to publish such the very week a major decision was being made on the issue, not allowing those inaccuracies to be corrected or even responded to before that vote.That’s what alarmed me, as it would anyone who believes in a newspaper’s responsibility to be fair and accurate.Believe me, after more than 35 years experience in the business, most journalists take those responsibilities very seriously.

    Reply
  3. Kathleen Witte   October 10, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    The problem is that there are as many different concepts of what is “fair” as there are opinions out there and all a newspaper can do is print a variety of viewpoints. With respect to “truths”, publishers have the responsibility to inform readers when something has been confirmed as reported or is an opinion, which was done in this case Then readers have the information they need to discern for themselves what weight they give to the information. Who decides which opinion is “fair” in America? If the only opinions the paper published were aligned with Mr. Weedle then we would see some unfairness. Sometimes an opinion sparks discussion so that real dialogue can take place, which I believe is the purpose of the free press in American society.

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